Decarbonisation targets only achievable with advances in research

July 27, 2022
Photo: Evgeniy Alyoshin on Unsplash
Professor Chennupati Jagadish, President of the Australian Academy of Science

The President of Australia’s leading science body has welcomed the introduction of the government’s Climate Change Bill 2022 into the Australian Parliament.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish also urged the government to explore how to deliver stronger emissions reductions over the next decade.

“The proposed targets represent a good start, and we encourage parliament to support the Bill as an important step in our country’s efforts to reduce emissions as quickly as possible,” Professor Jagadish said.

“However, the worsening impacts of climatic changes on the lives and wellbeing of millions of Australians demand that our political leaders work together with world leaders to achieve more ambitious emissions targets.

“On the current global 2030 trajectory, limiting warming to 1.5 degrees is unachievable,” he said.

The latest IPCC report on the impacts of climate change found if the world reaches 1.5 degrees of warming before 2040, it will cause further serious and complex threats to our ecosystems and communities far beyond the extreme weather events we are experiencing right now.

Professor Jagadish said rapidly reducing greenhouse gases to achieve net zero before 2050 is an ambitious undertaking requiring coordination and mobilisation of the global and domestic scientific talent.

“There is also no realistic path to decarbonisation for Australia and the world without advances in research and mechanisms to stimulate technology development at scale,” Professor Jagadish said.

“The Academy will continue to assist by providing independent scientific advice on emissions reduction to inform the short, medium- and long-term plans that are needed to achieve net zero by 2050.”

The Academy supports strategies to scale up the development and implementation of next-generation low to zero greenhouse gas technologies as well as large-scale carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere, both of which are needed to keep below 1.5 degrees of warming.

The Academy is hosting a national roundtable next month to examine what science capabilities, research and investment are needed to deliver new breakthroughs in negative emissions.

You can find out more about the Academy's work and the science of climate change on our Climate Change Hub.

© 2022 Australian Academy of Science

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